Diary of an MBA #6: The exams are over, but the work doesn’t stop

21 January 2011
Chris Atkins, author of Supply Management's Diary of an MBA blogI write this morning with a sore head brought on by celebratory drinks and an overwhelming sense of relief. The Durham MBA exams are over.As of this morning the likes of exchange rates theories, investment appraisal techniques, process design, Pettigrew's attitude to organisational culture management and the kinked demand curve elicit far less stress on my mind. The last three weeks have been pretty intense, gearing up for the five exams in the “core” modules we studied before Christmas, so I'm planning now to devote the next 24 hours to some mindless tasks such as watching The Jeremy Kyle Show and anything on Dave Ja Vu. We now have a few weeks to sweat about the results and in my case, whether the markers will even be able to read my frightfully poor handwriting. Something that struck me while I was scribbling away in exam rooms around Durham over recent days was it is challenging enough when under pressure to analyse and explain these complex topics in your native language, let alone in a foreign tongue. I am truly in awe of my fellow students from other countries who just seem to take this in their stride. Having struggled to a basic level in a few different languages and knowing the effort involved, I'm a firm believer that in an organisational setting native English speakers should and could do much more to help our non-native speaker colleagues by communicating more clearly. The MBA now goes in to its second chapter which involves our elective modules taught in shorter chunks over the coming months, and a boardroom simulation exercise starting in a couple of weeks time.
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